If you live in a city with many people of Polish heritage, you probably have a church named for St. Stanislaus of Kraków. And one or more families of that community will probably be from Kraków. And one or more families of that community probably have a son named Stanley, the English language form of Stanislaus.
Because St. Stanislaus of Kraków is the patron saint of the Polish nation, Polish people make him a part of their community no matter what nation they settle in. You see this same regard for national patrons among most groups: the Irish revere St. Patrick in the same way the French regard St. Joan of Arc; the Scots, St. Andrew; the Norwegians, St. Olaf; and the Mexicans, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. Stanislaus was born in Poland to upper-class parents. A good student, he entered the Church and rose quickly to become the bishop of Kraków in 1072. He was known as a splendid preacher, a friend to the poor, and a reformer of Church practices that had become lax. He also tried to reform the king of Poland— Boleslaus II —who was leading an immoral life and ruled with little regard for justice
for his people.When the king refused to give up his wicked ways, Bishop Stanislaus excommunicated him. That meant the king could not receive the sacraments. The angry King Boleslaus told his soldiers to kill the bishop, but when Stanislaus took refuge in a church, the soldiers refused to go after him. So the king entered the church and killed the bishop. As a result, the entire nation of Poland was put under interdict by the pope. This act curtailed public worship and the celebration of most sacraments in the
country. Boleslaus lost the support of the people and he fell from power.Stanislaus was buried in the cathedral of Kraków. His reputation grew and he became a hero to the entire nation of Poland. He was canonized in 1253.